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Gemini e-Newscast #81

March 16, 2016

In This e-Newscast:

A Supermassive Black Hole That Wasn’t So Massive

One sign of an extreme supermassive black hole at a galaxy’s core is a light deficit, the consequence of ejection of stars from the central region. The brightest cluster galaxy of Abell 85 had been identified as such an example, claimed to host one of the most massive black holes ever detected in the Universe at around 1011MSun. Juan Madrid, then a Science Fellow at Gemini South, along with Carlos Donzelli (Observatorio Astronómico de Córdoba), used the spatial resolution of images obtained with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on Gemini South to demonstrate that its mass was not so extreme. Data from their brief Director’s Discretionary Time program (seven minutes of observations) show the strong nuclear emission in the central kiloparsec – a light excess that may be due to a nuclear stellar disk. More information about this work is posted at the Gemini website, and full results are published in The Astrophysical Journal.
GMOS-South image of the center of the Abell 85 galaxy cluster.

It’s Time to Submit Proposals for 2016B Observations!

The Call for Proposals for semester 2016B observations is open. Full information is posted on the Gemini website, with details in the embedded links. Proposals are generally due at the end of March, with specific deadlines depending on the partner country of the Principal Investigator. In addition to Gemini’s facility instruments, the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument (DSSI) optical speckle camera will be available as a visitor instrument on Gemini North in 2016B, and the high-resolution near-infrared spectrometer Phoenix is slated as a visitor instrument on Gemini South.
Phoenix is prepared at the Gemini South instrument lab.

GPI Early Science Reduced Data Are Available

Early Release data obtained using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) on Gemini South are available. Raw and reduced data are available from the updated and reorganized website. These observations were obtained in late 2013, during GPI instrument commissioning.
GPI Near-infrared image revealing the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b. The light from Beta Pictoris is hidden behind the coronagraph mask in the center of the image. These data are available at the link provided in text.

Journey Through the Universe - 12 Years and Counting

During the week of March 7-11, 83 observatory professionals consisting of astronomers, engineers, astronomy educators, and other observatory staff shared their passion for science into hundreds of local Hawai‘i Island classrooms as a part of Gemini Northʻs flagship annual outreach program, Journey Through the Universe (Journey). Celebrating its 12th year in 2016, Journey is a collaboration that includes the State of Hawai‘i Department of Education Hilo-Waiākea Complex, Hawai’i Island business community, Maunakea Observatories, and NASA. Thanks to combined efforts, we were able to reach about 5,800 students in the Hilo-Waiākea district (as well as 730 students at Honoka‘a Schools with participation of the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope), and several hundred more in various community events, for a total reach of over 7,100 students, families, and community members!
Gemini Science Fellow Jenny Shih helps students at Waiākea Intermediate School classify galaxies as part of a Journey Through the Universe classroom presentation.
Copyright © 2016 Gemini Observatory, All rights reserved.

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